The Andhra Pradesh Prohibition and Excise Department officials conducted raids on the government-run wine shops, bars, and restaurants in the city, on Tuesday. These inspections were held to verify if there’s an illegal sale of liquor in Vizag.
According to sources, all the bars and government-managed shops were shut down on 21 March, 2020, due to the coronavirus outbreak. However, a few outlets in Vizag are allegedly selling liquor at higher prices in the black market. As soon as the illegal sale of liquor was brought to the Excise Department’s notice, the officials sprung into action and raided several bars in Vizag.
During the inspection on Tuesday, the records and the stock in the liquor outlets, before and after the lockdown have been verified. Reportedly, there are about 116 bar and restaurants, and nearly 420 wine shops in Visakhapatnam District. These raids will continue for the next two days across the district.
Reportedly, illegal liquor sale is more prevalent in rural areas. Considering this fact, the AP Excise and Police Departments are keeping a close watch and conducting surprise raids on belt shops and bars across the state, especially during this lockdown period. Huge consignments of liquor have been seized at Narasaraopeta in Guntur District and many other places in Andhra Pradesh.
It is to be noted that the State Government has been implementing the liquor ban in a phased manner, in line with the AP Chief Minister, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s election promise. In a major step towards the prohibition, the State Government took over the liquor shops across the state in October last year.
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